Le Cadavre Exquis
A Sketchbook Project by J C Woodson & Petrito Zezus
I was approached by Greek based artist, Petrito Zezus to write something about a project both he and UK based artist, Jason C Woodson had embarked upon. As part of the travelling Sketchbook Project tour, Write/Right When You Get There, both artists' contributions were presented in the form of a 48 page accordion style fold out book, the pages of which, stretched end to end, measured over 3 metres.
I was not prepared for the incredible attention to detial both artists presented, nor how well their differing styles of artistic expression played off each other. There understanding of and successful experimentation with colour. I know Petrito's work well, yet I found myself confused at times as to who created what. I'm glad these two artists found each other.
The book is at once a moveable feast that seems to increase in flavour and texture with each page turn. I was initially struck by there being much movement to the work, a movement not unlike the fragmented, oddly disproportionate images found in the large scale paintings of James Rosenquist. Woodson's first page, its idyllic calm, does not prepare the reader for the visual onslaught to come. Yet perhaps that hand raised gently gives pause, a sense of warning. Digging deeper into this accordion tomb, I found I'd set sail on a fantastical voyage, a Homer's Odyssey so to speak. Parts Dante's Inferno, part Hieronymus Bosch. Lewis Carroll for the LGBT set. There is chaos, yet there is also a measure of tranquility. At once seductive whilst perchance simultaneously repellent, it seems that forces of both yin and yang have been put to the test in this collaborative effort. Much borrowing from yesteryear, classics juxtaposed with a heavy helping of the iconography of today. This book is lucid, it makes pronouncements bodly. Full of enigma, both colourful and dark, meanings matter not.
Joseph Campbell said, I don't believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as thay are looking for the experience of being alive. That said, Jason C Woodson and Petrito Zezus' stunning multiple collage collaboration is certainly very much alive.
- Peter Combe